LCD Shipments Up 26 Percent In 2010

Santa Clara, CA--Global large-area TFT LCD panel shipments reached a record high of 665 million units in 2010, with strong growth in TV, notebook PC, tablet (slate) PC, and public display applications. The strong results indicate signs of recovery from the economic crisis in 2009, according to the DisplaySearch Quarterly Large-Area TFT LCD Shipment Report. Q4'10 was the strongest quarter, with 176.5 million units shipped, up nine percent from Q3'10.

Monitors are a relatively mature market for large-area TFT LCD, with a mere 12 percent Y/Y growth from 2009, while other applications had stronger growth. Notebook PC panels reached 178 million units, a healthy 26 percent Y/Y growth. The strongest growth segment was mini-note/tablet/slate PC panels, which achieved a 64 percent Y/Y increase, thanks to a strong 18 million units of 9.7-inch tablet PC panel shipments in 2010. TV panel shipments grew 36 perecent Y/Y to 221 million units.

2010 marks the first year that LCD TV panel shipments surpassed LCD monitor panel shipments. In addition, public display panel shipments grew substantially, up 55 percent Y/Y, from 1.1 million units to 1.7 million.

"At the beginning of 2010, DisplaySearch forecasted that the large-area TFT LCD industry would experience two crystal cycles during the year, which proved to be true," noted David Hsieh, DisplaySearch vice president and research leader for large-area panels.

Panel shipments reached 156 million in Q1'10, and grew to 170 million in Q2'10. At the end of Q2'10, the entire supply chain adjusted its inventory levels, which resulted in a drop in large-area TFT LCD panel prices. Q3'10 panel shipments fell to 162 million units as panel makers cut capacity utilization. Despite these results, Q4'10 demonstrated strong growth, reaching 176 million units as the panel industry gradually recovered.

Q4'10 LCD TV panel shipments remained flat at 57.5 million units. This indicates that the supply chain is still adjusting inventories and brands are not aggressively refilling their pipelines. DisplaySearch forecasts that Q1'11 panel shipments will decline two percent Q/Q due to seasonal trends. Meanwhile, TV panel shipments will fall to 55.6 million units, based on panel makers' shipment targets. Therefore, panel inventories will likely be low by the end of Q1'11.

On a unit basis, LG Display led 2010 shipments with a 25.9 percent share, followed by Samsung with 22.9 percent. AUO's share was 16.8 percent and Chimei Innolux's (including CMO) was 16.5 percent. LG Display also led in shipment area, while Samsung maintained its leadership in revenues.

Large Area TFT LCD Panel Shipments (Millions)

Application 2009 2010 Y/Y

Monitor 177 199 12%
Notebook PC 141 178 26%
Mini-Note/Slate PC 33 54 64%
LCD TV 163 221 36%
Public Display 1.1 1.7 55%
Others 11 11 0%
Total 527 665 26%
Source: DisplaySearch Quarterly Large-Area TFT LCD Shipment Report